Every year, thanks to the 25 Year Rule, a new crop of cars becomes legal to import in the United States. Good cars. Wonderful cars. Cars that were too amazing to be sold in the American market. And also these things.
Let me begin by saying that, depending on which state you live in, any car may be pointless to import. There is a rash of state DMVs enacting their own efforts to block imported cars from getting registered, and I encourage you to read our developing coverage on the subject.
I will also add that this list continues to be dedicated to our freelancer and my buddy Jamie Kitman, who is writing our running history of gasoline and all of the lies, cheats, war profiteering, and corruption at the heart of it in this country. It was Kitman who imported nothing less than a 1981 Austin Mini Metro, in beige. He has repeatedly told me it is an absolutely wonderful car, one of the best he owns in his stable of already wonderful old cars. He maintains it was a great deal, and something that he cherishes and adores. I believe him, and I also have to mention that it is a beige British hatchback from the 1980s. It is very much not the car that everyone else is rushing to buy, let alone go through the trouble of importing.
So, keep that in mind as we look over all of these cars. They are not Mitsubishi Evos. They are not even Mitsubishi Pajero Evos. But they might be the perfect car for one of you out there.
Mostly this is a celebration of all the car that manufacturers wished Americans never knew about, or never had the resources to bring something so ordinary over.
I’ll keep this list mostly alphabetical, except for one that I had to kick up the line.